Making Democracy Accessible for All Missourians

What we’re doing:

Young Activists United is currently part of a coalition of many Missourians and organizations working to qualify a measure for the ballot in November 2014 to create a six week period of early voting for all Missouri voters. This is an exciting time to expand democracy for Missouri voters and would be extremely beneficial to many communities.

Who it helps:

Students: Many people who take college courses are prevented from casting their vote on election day at any time other than the very early mornings or evenings – when there may be long lines and wait times, making them late for class or even miss classes. A six week window will allow students to work around their class schedule and cast their votes without having to miss their classes.

People with disabilities: Individuals with disabilities are more likely to have limited access to transportation making it difficult to get to a voting location on Election Day. This extension would allow people with disabilities the flexibility to find the transportation they need at a variety of times. Similarly, if a location is inaccessible, a person with a disability will have more time to survey their voting location and make proper accommodations to cast their vote.

Working families: Parents, caregivers, and people with jobs, children, and various responsibilities are often forced to take unpaid time from work to be able to vote on Election Day. A six week window would provide more flexibility to be able to vote on a day off, or go to the polls with children without waiting in long lines. Confining voting to one 8-12 hour day does not reflect the lives of most working Missourians.

Early voting benefits all voters.

Why this is Important: According to the Brennan Center – a nonpartisan law and policy institute at NYU that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice research shows the key benefits of early in person voting are reduced stress on the voting system on Election Day; shorter lines on Election Day; improved poll worker performance; early identification and correction of registration errors and voting system glitches; and greater access to voting and increased voter satisfaction. [1]

This initiative is an important expansion of democracy that will make the voting system more flexible, efficient, and accessible to Missourians of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. It will increase independence and access to democracy for all Missouri citizens.

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